Poll panel bars offending ads in Bihar

New Delhi, Nov 4 (IANS) Acting on a complaint from the Grand Alliance, the Election Commission on Wednesday told political parties not to publish advertisements on Thursday - the last day of polling in Bihar - unless its contents are approved by it.

In a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of Bihar, the poll panel said it had been brought to its notice that "certain advertisements of offending nature" were published in some prominent newspapers of Bihar on Wednesday.

"The commission hereby directs that no political party or candidate or any other organisation or person shall publish any advertisement in newspapers tomorrow (November 5) unless the contents of the advertisement proposed to be published are pre-certified by them at the state/district level as the case may be," the letter said.

The complaint on Wednesday was filed by the Janata Dal-United (JD-U)-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-Congress alliance over an advertisement by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in newspapers ahead of the last phase of polling in Bihar's assembly elections.

The advertisement questioned Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's alleged silence over the comments on beef consumption by other leaders of his alliance.

"The BJP wants religious polarization. The advertisement shows its frustration," JD-U leader K.C. Tyagi told reporters after lodging the complaint with the Election Commission.

"The Election Commission should take action immediately... There is lack of action," he said.

"We hope there will be no such advertisements in newspapers tomorrow."

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